Kellie Pickler is bringing music and big hugs to Fort Riley.
The country singer continues her support of the military with a visit to the storied Army base in Kansas, which serves as home to the 1st Infantry Division. Pickler, along with hubbie Kyle Jacobs and her band, get a VIP tour of the base and meet with the general in Thursday's episode of I Love Kellie Pickler. See an exclusive sneak peek in ET's player above.
"When I met the general, I shook his hand, of course, but then it just felt natural to give him a hug," Pickler confesses. "I think he was a little startled because I don't think generals walk around huggin' everybody. ... They're the general!"
Pickler has long been a supporter of the troops, completing nine USO Tours and receiving the Operation Troop Aid Chris Kyle Patriot Award last year.
"There's no greater joy than being a part of something that matters, that truly matters," an overwhelmed Pickler gushed to ET at the CMT Awards in June. "It ain't about me. It's about all of our service men women veterans, anyone that's in service, it's about them. I'm just happy to be a part of everything and I'm honored. I'm never speechless, I usually have somethin' to say, but I really don't know what to say other than I'm honored and I'm so thankful -- and God Bless America!"
I Love Kellie Pickler airs Thursday, Jan. 7, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CMT.
But first, the show that made Pickler a star, American Idol
, returns to the airwaves for its 15th and final season on Wednesday, Jan. 6, on Fox. While Pickler has become one of the show's most successful alumni,
it's hard to believe that she didn't walk away as the winner back in 2006!
In honor of Idol's Farewell Season, ET is taking a look back at some of the series' most successful "losers." See which other finalists came out on top in the video below.